Catholic Fatherhood, growing in geekiness, holiness and intelligence.

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Saturday, June 30, 2007

The beauty of homeschooling

Well, its that time of the year again. No, not time to start homeschooling but wrapping up things for the year and working on planning for the next year. A few people I know are working to be teachers because they will have the summer off to be with their kids. While you do have more time off in the summer than someone that works year round I do know that teachers have to do continuing education and prep-work for the next year during the summer. The same is true for homeschooling parents.

We have to study curriculums, activities, evaluate the last year and enrich our knowledge base during the summer. The plus for us is that the students we teach learn with us throughout the summer. We also learn from them, their is not a big getting to know you period at the beginning of the year, we taught these kids last year and we have done things and grown with them all summer long.

We are in the mode of teaching our kids and they continue to learn, we undertake one of our fundamental responsibilities as parents to educate our children. My wife being a stay at home mom is home with the kids all the time, its a way of life. Its not a way of life without struggles (for both of us) but its a calling from God. Today is our cleaning day at the house and we worked all over cleaning and some of the kids learned new chores. Yes, the chore was cleaning the toilet bowl. This is another way that my wife is working smarter. Instead of sending the kids off to a corner and having to deal with them when they interrupt her work, she is working smarter and putting all of us to work on the weekly cleaning chores. She is working hard and working smarter!! Did I mention I love and adore my wife, she is just plain awesome and I am blessed by having her around.

Our kids are learning service to each other , their fellow man, as they do this work beside us. This doesn't make them perfect by any means, all of us in this family fall from time to time. However, we hope that the time we spend together and I with my daughters will help them to get a good start on the way of perfection. This spending time together and teach I think really fits John Henry Cardinal Newman's approach of "Cor ad Cor Loquitor". Hearts speaking to Hearts, that is how school should be, that is how we make a difference in the school that is life, that is what homeschooling is really about, the school of life.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S.
p.s. Since this is emailed to you and you get to read it, I love you dearling.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The World Over -- 6/15/2007

I found this episode of "The World Over" to be particularly compelling, especially since I have four daughters that I am raising. I love how she describes things and some of the points she makes. Dr. Meeker makes the statement that "Dad's have to be the kind of man that they want their daughter's to marry." I have heard psychologists say that the things that terrorize us as a child become attractive to us as we get older, but I like her explanation better. She states that what is familiar is safe, even though it may be destructive things, it can also be healthy things. She claims that it is mainly the dad that determines this for their daughters.

The other thing she talks about is not caving. This is awesome for me, it really gave me perspective about what I am doing here. I am not raising a 4, 5, 8 , 12 , 16, 18 or 21 year old. I am raising a succesful 25 year old, an adult. They just happend to be 3, 5, 8 or however old right now. It may be tough but it is worthwhile not to cave-in. Below are the links to the podcast of the episode in mp3 format. You can Ipod it or listen to it right on your computer with a media player (should be on their already). This is worth a listen for every father of daughters and sons. The mothers should listen too.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S
It's not enough to Play the Dad, you have to Be the Dad.

Posted via Google Reader:

The World Over -- 6/15/2007

via EWTN: The World Over on Jun 15, 2007

Hosted by Raymond Arroyo with guest Dr. Meg Meeker: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know.

Things you can do from here:

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Things I have learned from having kids

My 3 year old decided that it would be fun to play a new game today. First, she realized that she wasn't scared of the vacumn cleaner anymore. Then she decided it would be fun to help with her play vacumn cleaner. The game started when the two of us were vacumning the basement and demolition vacumn cleaner derby ensued.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Friday, June 22, 2007

Kids are sick and something that makes me bannas

Not much to say, other than the kids are still sick. Them being sick makes life all kinds of fun. Fortunately, we haven't had to clean up much vomit. Prayers for all of you, I am working on some more posts to put up.

I did think that this was kind of scary, it is related to the the "muslim/episcopal" priest story here and here.

I understand reaching out to other's of different faiths is ok, but claiming to be part of another denomonation I believe in Catholicism is grounds for you no longer being Catholic, kind of mutually exclusive.

Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oh by the way, things I learned from my kids.

Today we got all out of sorts on schedule and I ended up missing the Homeschool support group meeting tonight. Its ok, as it gave my wife some time out and about with just the littlest one. I stayed home and fed the kids and we all ended up watching Flicka. The kids finished watching the movie and were up past their bedtime but they still wanted one thing, their mom to read them a story Puppy dog eyes. The joy of routine, they watched an almost two hour movie and they wanted mom to be home to read them a simple story for their imaginations to run wild with. God bless them.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S. Peace Sign

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The problem with not having a firm grounding in tradition

Ok, you see, when you fall away from tradition things like this are bound to happen sooner or later, wow. This is a little more than spooky if you ask me.

Under the Mercy,


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Birth of Clara Joy...(dad's perspective)

I am reposting this, a classic but a goody from my old blog....hope you enjoy.

The birth of each baby is always a unique event, nothing ever goes the same or exactly according to plan. However, each birth being unique makes it a special event for the unique individual whose arrival it announces. Using the modern medical method of predicting delivery (no, not rolling dice) our fourth child was "due" on November tenth of this year (okay, that is the statistical middle of a one month window but they never tell you that). In reality, for a variety of reasons I won't get into here but you are free to send me a message and ask, we were due on about November 17th. We were able to determine this through a chart and documentation of one negative and one positive pregnancy test taken on particular days.

Anyway, on November 23rd, Thanksgiving Day, we were staring down the barrel, just seven days from having to start medical intervention to induce labor. Now at the beginning of your 41st week of pregnancy that is really a long, long time but it can be a scary prospect. I imagine that it is not unlike a death row inmate getting told he has a week before his execution, a lot can change in that week but I imagine it is a bit unsettling.

After we had Thanksgiving Lunch and Dinner with my family we made sure that our three girls had all their stuff so that they could stay at Grandma and Grandpa's for at least that night. Upon arriving home we took out the instructions for "natural promotion" of labor given to us by our good friend that I will call "The Witch Doctor" to protect her identity from the pregnant women of the world that are trying to go into labor. After I went around the house and made sure that everything was in a "hyper" state of readiness for us to go to the hospital and all of the necessary supplies (especially the roadside delivery kit) where in their proper place we began to follow the directions at 2022. This began with application of Castor Oil to the exterior of Dawn's belly and the administration of pulsitilla (homeopathic) at a rate of one dropper every 15 minutes. Okay, to complicate things the castor oil needs to be rubbed clockwise and you have to "smack" the pulsitilla bottle to "activate" it.


Now, to make everything more fun now I am running wet hand towels back and forth from the microwave to Dawn's belly to keep a nice warm one on the belly. Now at this point Dawn is working on something else to promote labor and I am getting into my routine of towel running, which I think should be an Olympic event. At 2044 Dawn gave a yelp and said "My water just broke." Idiotically I walked in and not having encountered a tidal wave asked, "Are you sure?" Dawn was quickly able to relieve my concerns and assured me that her water had broken. However, one problem still existed, even though Dawn was having contractions, they weren't regular or serious. Had labor really started????

After realizing that Dawn was having a few contractions, but nothing regular, and calling my mom to let her know what was going on (I think that phone call and my dear sweet mother's reaction has something to do with a temporary hearing loss I had for a few days after that) we decided that we needed to go to the hospital. Between the history of short labors and our discovery that meconium was present in the amniotic fluid, we thought it would be best to get to the hospital and make sure that no complications were brewing.

Now, just when you think you have things under control life has a way of throwing a curve at you just to see if you will panic when you stare it in the eyes. So, I take off driving down the road, avoiding the numerous bits of construction that pop up around the area and as I am driving down Harry Street I see something flashing in front of me a ways. I am trying to go east and a North-South train has me stuck on the wrong side of town from the hospital. Now, labor isn't serious at this point but I do not want to take my sweet time to get to the hospital either. I am worried that the train is going to be stuck and not moving or worse that it will derail in front of my very eyes. When I see that it is a fast moving freight train going northbound I am not too worried until I realize (no matter how unlikely) that it will probably derail in front of me and I will have to carry my pregnant wife that is in labor across a mass of train cars that are leaking toxic chemicals and then the final two miles to the hospital.

Well, fortunately nothing like that happened and we uneventfully drove the remaining distance to the hospital. At times it is good to be disappointed. After arriving at the hospital we were able to gather up our bags and make our way to the fourth floor delivery ward about 2142. Dawn's contractions hadn't been serious but had been running right at three minutes apart. We walked up to the PSU (perinatal support unit) and announced our arrival to the nurse that was waiting. Normally at St. Joe's a mom that shows up thinking she is in labor or that her water may have broke stops here and stays here in a room not much larger than a bathroom until they can make sure your water is broke and that you are actually in labor before you get to go to a room and deliver a baby. Now, being the experienced parents of three, I politely informed them that my wife's water had broken and that meconium was present (ok, all I knew about meconium at the time was that it was poop floating in the amniotic fluid and the only way I could have identified it would have been if it looked like or smelled like you-know-what, so the light green tint didn't really do a whole lot for me but it did for my wife). That was more than enough to convince them that we should get to pass "Go" and move directly to a birthing suite for where the real fun begins.

Ok, so now we get into the birthing room and we begin what I consider to be an extraordinary obstacle course. Not that we have to jump over barb-wire fences or clamber over brick walls but there are lots of things to get through while you are in labor in a hospital. The first is that we met our labor nurse who begins all the normal procedures of the hospital. First, is to get Dawn into a gown with a "sock" under it for holding monitors in place. Now, we aren't wanting Dawn hooked up to monitors all the time and the idea of putting a tube sock over a belly that is contracting and in labor just doesn't sound like fun so Dawn and I decide to skip that step and I step out of the bathroom to see if the nurse has any questions about our birth plan that was handed to her a few minutes prior and she is reading for the first time.

The labor nurse didn't have any questions and we talked to her about wanting intermittent monitoring and/or monitoring with a Doppler of the baby instead of having dawn chained to a large desk with a large machine on it. The nurse said that we would want to check with the doctor and make sure he was ok with that due to the meconium (who is the boss, us or the doctor??) and we used the belts to get an initial monitor of the baby just to make sure their wasn't any distress. Fortunately, no distress was found and all was well, the contractions were mild and my mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law (both of them), brother, and both nephews all came in to say hello. One other special guest was able to come in and wish her momma a special hello. The oldest big sister, Mary Elizabeth, was able to come to the hospital with her grandmother to help support her mother.


During this entire whirlwind of people coming in and out of the room we met the resident doctor that would be assisting our doctor with the birth, he checked Dawn and found out we were at a 4 and if I remember correctly about 60% effaced. It was about here that they talked about the fact that due to the meconium we would probably need a neo-natologist at the birth. This would mean that instead of the baby coming directly to Dawn's tummy for an hour or so the neo-natologist would first quickly and deeply suction out the baby's throat to make sure no meconium would get sucked into the baby's lungs.

Now, we use the Bradley Method of Husband-Coached Childbirth to help us achieve a natural and un-medicated childbirth, but we still get the obligatory visit from the anesthiologist on-call so that in case we need to have a c-section they have all the obligatory information just in case, at least according to our labor nurse. Then this guy comes in, he is just doing his job, and gives us this big spiel about how they will go about an epidural if Dawn gets to 8 or 9 centimeters dilated and decides she just can't make it anymore. Ok, so first they give her so much fluid through the hep-lock, then get her into one of two positions, then stick a needle in her back, then put a catheter in the needle, then guessing they are in the right spot the slowly start to inject medicine into Dawn's back and if her legs start to feel weird and go numb they start pumping her full of medicine. Total time for this is about a half hour and with Dawn's propensity for quick labors it would make it totally ridiculous to even try to give her an epidural at the end of labor.

At one point Dr. Ferris did stick his head in the door just to let me know that he would be close by. Alright, now we get all of that fun stuff out of the way and its now about 2230 and we have been at the hospital for about an hour at this point and labor really hasn't gotten that serious. Finally, about 2245 Dawn decides its time to walk the halls.


So we go walking up and down the hallways of the labor section. My mom, brother, his wife and their two kids join us on our walking of the halls, finally the contractions are starting to pick up and Dawn has gone from having one every two laps, to having one every lap, to having two on the last two laps. Finally, we go back to the room to let Dawn rest and continue to labor. Things still aren't too serious, I continue reading my book but Dawn is now only smiling between contractions but she is handling them like the pro she is. She is sitting in the very comfortable recliner in our room and I am starting to hold her hand especially during contractions. The nurse lets me know that they are waiting for Dawn's labor to get serious before checking her again or really doing much of anything else.

Okay, so we finally get down to about midnight and someone, I can't remember exactly who, comes in and lets us know that its now the 24th (no longer my uncle Steve's birthday). It is about this time that Dawn decides its time to transfer over to the bed for labor to continue. There are also some little personality changes that I notice about her, some of them I won't mention as they are probably unique to her. There are other things that are a normal part of labor that she undergoes but guys you got to get over your squeamishness and be a man to deal with these. A level head, strong stomach and a sharp mind are necessary to do what you got to do to help your wife and recognize what is going on so that everyone is ready.


I decide to tell the nurse that I think things are getting serious at which point she checks Dawn and tells us that she is dilated to 6, I do also notice that she is fully effaced. I gesture to the nurse and tell her that I think things are going to go quick, its now 0016. I call my mom and ask for one person to be sent down to help me, my mom decides to send my wife's mom down (who better to help, she knows just about as well as anyone) and my only requirements are that she come in quietly and keep to the side. The reason for this is that I know for the birth we are going to probably have at least two attending (our doc and the neo-natologist), probably two residents and two nurses. I have my mother-in-law sitting off to the side behind me when I hear Dawn say, "I have to push." It has only been two contractions since she was dilated to six.

The labor nurse decides that this would be a good time to check Dawn and gets all gloved up and at this point the nurse and I both take a look and don't see any baby but there is movement. The nurse changes her mind about checking Dawn as her leg goes flying up in the air only to be met by Dawn's hand to hold it in place. The nurse starts frantically making phone calls (faster than the captain of the pomp on squad captain an hour before prom when she finds out her date just fell over dead and she needs a new one) to get people rolling to make sure we got everyone one we are supposed to have in the room their.

The resident comes in the room and does check Dawn even though, as the labor nurse put it, "she is involuntarily pushing." The resident does glove up but doesn't really check her due to the fact that he is able to feel the baby coming down. The labor nurse tells Dawn that she is going to put/hold the monitor on her just to make sure that everything is ok and that we "aren't going to mess with Dr. Ferris if the baby is having any problems, we will just push it out." These kinds of statements I always think are funny, like Dawn is going to 'wait' for Dr. Ferris at this point. I hear someone ask if the neo-natologist has been called and another person asks if someone has called Dr. Ferris. About this time Dr. Ferris walks in the door and Dawn pushes a couple more times. Someone, I think the labor nurse, makes the comment that we are going to see the head pop out any second.

Okay, so now it is clear to me that we aren't having the neo-natologist at the delivery, I can't explain how I know it but it may have something to do with two people in the delivery room almost simultaneously asking each other if the other has called the neo-natologist, Dr. Ferris didn't seem too worried about it, he was just sitting back and waiting for the baby to show up. That is part of the reason we like him so much, he doesn't get overly intervention oriented without good reason. About that time I heard someone say, here it is and I look down and sure enough everything starts to open.

Dr. Ferris drapes some type of a sheet under Dawn. At this point she is in on her side and no one has broken down the bed, no stirrups, nothing. The little baby's head comes rolling out facing posterior and rolling counter-clockwise towards me. That is when I see it's a little girl, baby number four, fourth little girl for daddy. She was place directly on Mom's belly and I believe a bulb syringe was used to suction her throat out, she cried a sweet little sound almost right away and pinked up really quick.


Now, we had a problem.

Name, a name was in order but we were staring at each other. Therese? Theresa? Gabriella? Clara? I was ready to play: Rock, Paper, Scissors. Finally Dawn asked what I thought and I told her she knew what my vote was. Dawn looked down and said that name I loved and so it was.


On 7/24/06 at 0044, weighing in at 7 lbs 10 oz and 21 inches long is "Clara Joy".

My littlest girl.
Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Turbo Tagger

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New Homeschool Forum

This could become a great resource for homeschoolers everywhere.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Monday, June 11, 2007

The 1,000 piece puzzle

Tonight, Mary and I started working on one of her First Ccommunion gifts. I sat up a table in the storage room in the basement and we are putting together a 1,000 piece puzzle of the Last Supper. Simply amazing how much I had forgotten that you have to learn to pu one of these together. Mary was picking up a handful of pieces and looking through them for one particular piece and making quite a pile of it. Looking through every piece until she found the piece she was looking for and then she would move on to the next piece she was looking for and repeat the process over again. It took a bit of work for me to show her how you had to turn them all right side up and spread all 1,000 pieces out, seperating the edges and really obvious things together until you had them all right side up. Needless to say this will be beautiful fun for the two of us to work on. She does think that we will get three sides done tonight, the last one and some of the middle tommorw (I will be at work) and the last night will be finishing it, so it should take about three days. Well, she is learning after all isn't she?
Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

RADICAL CATHOLIC MOM: Working Moms & The Church

RADICAL CATHOLIC MOM: Working Moms & The Church

This is an interesting discussion on NFP and women wanting to return back to or to the workplace. One thing that my wife and I are dealing wtih as homeschooling/nfp using/open to life types is the very same issue of my wife not having a career. We are using Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace to get us debt free and financially "independent" (in a better place to get our kids off on the right foot and give to God's Church). The other thing it will do is allow my wife to have more freedom if I would die. Even if I don't die first it will give my wife freedom, instead of worrying about her making a certain amount of money, later on I want her to be able to do something she enjoys, or several things she enjoys. SHe can sew, volunteer, midwife or whatever her hearts desire.

In today's world we are so busy and it is so important to have a parent home with the kids if you can, they are so vulnerable to society's snares. Just my two cents.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Eldest Daughter received her First Holy Communion Today

Today, the Feast of Corpus Christi, my oldest Daughter grew up just a little bit more. Today, she physically received Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrement. She looked so grown up getting her hair done early in the morning. Very early in the morning for me a second shifter. As we got her three sisters and ourselves ready and placed the Bishop's Breakfast Casserole's in the oven we were off to Church for the 9 a.m. Mass.

We took our places near the front of the Church for Mass. Father preached a wonderful sermon describing the feelings in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Last Supper. We were able to stand with our daughter in front of the whole congregation as we renewed our baptismal promises with her. Father re-read one of the blessing prayers for the parents from the Rite of Baptism and commented that my wife and I had taken it to heart as we had prepared Mary for her First Holy Communion on our own.

Finally, after the consecration, Father came down to the steps of the Altar flanked by two Altar Servers bearing candles and my wife and I processed up behind her Daughter to receive the most Blessed Sacrement. We then held her together and I cried just a little bit. Below is the prayer that her and I prayed together.

Act of Adoration after Communion

With deepest humility, I adore You, my Lord and God; You have made my soul
Your dwelling place. I adore You as my creator from Whose hands I came and
with Whom I long to be happy forever. Amen.

Finally, after a few pictures we returned to home and had a reception with our family and friends in attendance. We ate Bishop's Breakfast Casserole, Tre Leche Cake and had punch to drink. All was well and yummy. Then we had a small siesta.

God Bless, He is truly merciful to us.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Friday, June 8, 2007

Living together before marriage not a sin???

Uhhhh, wow. At least they don' call thenselves Roman Catholic but they do try to use JPII to 'prove' their point.U.S. Catholic Magazine: A betrothal proposal

Not for my daughters, anyway.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Oh by the way, What I learn from having kids

Today was a big day at work as we had the public ribbon cutting of our new facility that we will be moving into. Of course lots of speeches and public officials praising the work that had been done. I invited my wife and homeschooled kids as I thought they may find it interesting and their was free cake and punch. Well, lets just say 25 minutes of speeches involving the term "mitigation" leads an 8 yo at a very adult event to just look up alot and smile at her father.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Oh, by the way, Things I have learned from having Kids

Today, I learned that in a 3 yo's mind her slipper socks (you know the ones with treads on the bottom for around the house) are in the same class as shoes and flip flops when it comes to outdoor footwear.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Oh Media, Oh Media, why don't you read what your write?

The Pope did what to him??? Oh ok, the headline just doesn't make sense. The Pope recognized his martyrdom, he didn't actually martyr the austrian.

At times people in the news forget to proofread or don't know enough to know it doesn't make sense.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Sent to you by Matthew via Google Reader:

Pope Martyrs Austrian Beheaded by Nazis

via Roman Catholic Church News on Jun 05, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI approved recognition of martyrdom for an Austrian who was beheaded by the Nazis for refusing to serve in Hitler's army, a step toward possible sainthood.

Ten years ago, a Berlin court posthumously exonerated Franz Jaegerstaetter, who was drafted after Germany annexed his native Austria, for refusing to serve in the Nazi army. His request to be excused from regular army service had been denied, and he was ordered executed for treason.

Jaegerstaetter had been the only person in his village to vote against the creation of a so-called 'Greater Germany' shortly after Austria was annexed in 1938. He was beheaded in 1943. Read more

Things you can do from here:

Oh, by the way...Things I have learned from having kids.

Today was an exciting and scary day for learning. I took my oldest daughter to get her cast off at 0800 this morning. Now, outside of this being early for me (I am a second shifter and that makes it the equivalent of 0100 for me) and not having driven in rush hour traffic in a couple years we had to face something that is scary for a child with a broken limb, the Tickle Machine. The tickle machine is the really noisy saw that cuts through the fiberglass material that makes up the cast without cutting your arm wide open. Mary was so brave today, she was obviously scared and cried but she let the tech take the cast off even though she was crying. Today I learned that crying can be bravery.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Monday, June 4, 2007

I will call this Scary and I will have nightmares about it

Crap!!! Honestly thats how I feel hearing about. One of these times we may have to draw a line in the sand, stand up and fight. You can mess with me all you want but my kids are sacred.

despite all the effort and rhetoric about protecting children and their rights, there is a severe shortcoming in the global campaign to protect children: the influence of religion and its continuing contribution to many forms of child abuse all around the world
Such abuse begins with the involuntary involvement of children in religious practices from the time they are born
This gives holy books and scriptures, as well as those who teach them, an early grip on the developing minds of young people, leaving an indelible impression on them. In many cases, most notably in the Catholic Church, this forced and prolonged exposure of children to religious institutions has also been a key factor in the physical, mental, and sexual abuse of children by religious leaders
This early grip is so strong that very few people, once grown, ever get an opportunity to change their minds, despite being exposed to science and rational thinking, or even other religious systems
blog it

Sweet Sacrament Thee we Adore

May Jesus enter your heart and find it well prepared my daughter. God Love You, and so do I!!
Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Oh by The Way, Things I never knew until I had Kids

A child that is potty training has a very unique bladder. It can sit on the potty for 30 full minutes wanting to go potty and do nothing, however when a delay of less than a minute is encountered when they are away from the potty, it is often too late.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S


This is Fr. Triligio's response to the gang of 18 from Capital hill and their all but renouncement of Catholicism. CHT to The Transient Hour. It is shameful, we all are sinners but to stand up and say we don't want you to tell us what to do. That is basically saying we don't want to be part of the group anymore.

Fr. Trigilio's response:
Your letter of May 10th is self-incriminating. While criticizing the Pope for doing his job as supreme pastor, you yourselves betray your own duplicity as Catholic lawmakers. The supreme pastor of the universal church has jurisdiction over every Catholic Christian in the world. Canon Law makes it clear that every baptized Catholic is under the authority of the Church in matters of faith and morals. Hence, when the Roman Pontiff upholds and enforces the Divine Positive and the Natural Moral Laws, he is not interfering with man-made civil law, rather, he is reminding you of its subservience to the higher laws to which it must conform for the common good of all. Canon 1398 states that “a person who actually procures an abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.” Anyone who supports abortion is a formal cooperator in evil while those who ‘personally oppose abortion but uphold a woman’s right to choose abortion’ are material cooperators in evil.
When he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict sent a letter to the US Bishops in 2004 which said “a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia.” He also said that Catholic politicians who consistently campaign and vote for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws are formal cooperators in evil and they are “not to present themselves for Holy Communion.” Our words and actions make us worthy or unworthy. Church law merely ratifies our decision by telling us to refrain from Communion when we should not be taking it.
The Pope has the right, the obligation and the duty to enforce the moral law, which is superior to all municipal, state, federal or even international law. The Nuremburg trials proved that when Nazis were convicted of the heinous evil and injustice of genocide despite the apparent civil legality at the time. The government enacted immoral laws which society and decency said should never have been upheld or enforced.Your letter insinuates that the Bishop of Rome is interfering with American jurisprudence. He is not. Pope Benedict is merely reminding Catholic Americans that their first and foremost loyalty is to God and the common good. Any and all civil laws which contradict the Divine and/or the Natural Law are invalid and have no obligation upon anyone. If that were not the case, then slavery, segregation and anti-Semitism would have to be tolerated if some legislature or court upheld laws supporting these atrocities. Thankfully, even the evil of apartheid is finally gone though it had been legal for centuries in South Africa.
Learn from history and remember that it has usually been religious people of faith who have convinced lawmakers and judges that immoral laws must be abolished no matter how ‘constitutional’ they may appear. Our inalienable rights do not come from any document, not even the Constitution nor are they bestowed upon us by any government. The right to life comes from the Creator and once given, it cannot be unjustly taken away. The unborn children murdered by abortion have had no due process yet their civil rights have been denied them. Even though they are in their mother, the unborn are no more ‘property’ than was any slave. No one owns another human being, whether in the womb or out of it.
On the one hand you state “advancing respect for life and for the dignity of every human being is, as our church has taught us, our own life’s mission,” yet you remonstrate the spiritual leader of our one billion member church simply because he reaffirms the innate evil of abortion. How can you advance ‘respect for life’ and the ‘dignity of every human being’ without a complete and total ban on all abortions? Reducing abortions and providing moral alternatives, like adoption, are very laudatory, but they are not enough. All abortions must be outlawed and Roe v. Wade needs to be overturned once and for all. Would abolitionists and African-Americans been satisfied if slavery had merely been ‘reduced’ rather than abolished? Of course not. Though shamefully our nation legalized slavery at one time, limiting and reducing an immoral evil and a civil injustice was not enough.
Even though the Supreme Court issued their infamous Dred Scott and (1857) and Plessy v. Furguson (1896) decisions, slavery and racial segregation remained unjust, evil and immoral, despite their apparent ‘legality’ by the highest court of the land. Likewise, Roe v. Wade (1973) may have ‘legalized’ abortion across the land, but its inherent injustice to the unborn human child remains a moral and civil evil upon our country.Catholics, whether politicians, judges or voters, need to act responsibly. If they give direct and proximate material cooperation in evil, from abortion to euthanasia, then Divine Law, Moral Law and Canon Law say they are ineligible for Holy Communion. You do not need an official excommunication, either. Hopefully, more bishops and pastors will remind their people and enforce this so as to discourage any and all cooperation in these moral evils.
Rev. John Trigilio, Jr.
President, Confraternity of Catholic Clergy
Under the Mercy,
Matthew S

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Oh by The way, things I never knew until I had Kids

I never knew you had to make a rule against urinating in a cup and then pouring it behind your sister's dresser. I never knew it but my daughter did.

Under the Mercy,

Matthew S

Oh by the Way, Things I never knew until I had Kids

Did you know that the lid from a 2-liter bottle of pop will fit perfectly inside the drain of your sink and act as a stopper? My five year-old didn't either.

Under The Mercy,

Matthew S